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Against the Current

The Maclay Varsity Swim Team Overcame the Odds at Their Tri-Match Against Bolles and PK Yonge


Photo by Brooke Nohle/Maclay Andalusian


The Marauders swam their way through one of their most anticipated meets. On Oct. 5 2023 the Maclay varsity swim team competed against PK Yonge high school and Bolles high school in Jacksonville, Florida. The Marauders finished 2nd overall. Their top performers were senior Bella Ekk, senior Hanson Higdon and freshman McKay Yearty. Senior Sara Mnookin also competed in the diving portion of the meet.


PK Yonge and Bolles are more competitive than most of the teams that the Marauders have previously competed against, making this meet a challenge, but also an opportunity for growth and showcasing their skills.


Ekk competed in three events, but dominated in the 50 freestyle. Swimming it in 24.13 seconds, she cut through the water like glass, earning her a first place victory.


“I think I did alright,” Ekk said. “I would have liked it [my swimming] to be faster but for the next big meet I will warm down more.”


Ekk was not the only swimmer who persevered that afternoon. Yearty excelled in the 500 freestyle and earned second place with a time of 5:16.94 minutes. In order to do so, she carries out a pre-meet routine.


“Before a meet, I will drink a lot of water,” Yearty said. “I will also think about the time I want and what I must do to get it.”


Swimming competitively is a skill that most of the Marauders have practiced for many years, aside from senior Parker Lambert. Lambert picked up the sport as a way to be more involved in Maclay athletics and stay in peak physical condition. Being that this is his first big meet, Lambert had to rise to the occasion in order to compete well against Bolles and PK Yonge.


“The day of the meet I try to calm my body from the stress,” Lambert said. “My teammates usually talk me up right before I go out and swim to calm my nerves.”


Mnookin, as Maclay's sole diver, carries heavy expectations. Yet, she's poised for success. Mnookin finished 3rd in her category with a final score of 182.55, with a total of six dives.


“I feel alright with my performance,” Mnookin said. “Hearing my teammates cheer me on and support me definitely helped.”


The Marauders held their own against two difficult and much larger teams, demonstrating that hardwork and determination can outmatch even the toughest opponents.

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